Happy National Margarita Day! If that’s not a good reason to get sloshed after work today, what is? Here at Fork in the Road, we’re all about the drinking (though ideally that which coincides with eating). Yet the age-old problem with getting too boozy is that you’re bound to get hungover. Back around New Year’s Eve, we tested out the efficacy of Bytox, a patch that you apply before drinking that transmits rehydrating vitamins via your skin. The results were somewhat mixed — the first time it worked astonishingly well, but the second time we woke up with a headache. So when we heard about two new hangover cures — Mercy and NOHO — we knew we had to get sloshed and take them for a test-drive.
We started first with Mercy, a lightly carbonated, nonalcoholic, caffeine-free beverage that’s somwhat refreshing and tastes a bit like Red Bull (though its makers stress the fact that it’s neither an energy drink nor an electrolyte water). Interestingly, Mercy can be drunk either on its own, or combined with a shot of alcohol. The 60-calorie beverage includes a proprietary blend of nutrients (among them, alpha-Ketoglutaric acid, chamomile extract, L-carnitine, milk-thistle-seed extract, and N-acetylcysteine, plus, like Bytox, a hearty dose of B vitamins). We felt slightly flushed and red-faced after downing the drink (perhaps due to all that thiamin rushing through our body?), and then proceeded to down a few bourbons. When we woke up the next morning, we were dismayed to wake to pounding temples. Mercy, you failed.
After giving our liver a chance to recuperate, we tried out NOHO. NOHO comes in the form of a two-shot combination in packaging that resembles 5-Hour Energy — the first shot to be taken before your first alcoholic beverage and the second shot when you get home after your last alcoholic beverage. While this makes sense conceptually, if you’re really, really drunk, it’s likely that you’ll forget to take the second dose.
NOHO’s shtick is that it replenishes your body with essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs before the hangover starts. It actually tastes almost identical to the lemon-lime Gatorade flavor, but much, much sweeter and slightly more viscous. Still, it went down easier than the Mercy, which took a while to get through the whole can and had a kind of vitamin/health-food-store smell. The ingredients in NOHO include some vitamins and minerals, but also prickly-pear-root extract and ginger-root extract to settle the stomach. Several drinks later, we plopped into bed, chugged the remaining two-ounce container, and passed out. Waking up, we definitely felt fresher than with Mercy, though we have to admit that we got drunk on different alcohols on the two occasions. Still, if we had to pick one of the two, we’d likely go for the NOHO since it’s easier to drink and you can carry it in your pocket.
Now, go drink some margaritas!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 22, 2012